Arlington to Hold Sales and Use Tax Special Election May 2, 2020
By Office of Communication
Posted on February 24, 2020, February 24, 2020

Arlington voters will decide whether to authorize the adoption of an additional quarter-cent City sales and use tax at a special election on May 2, 2020. 

Arlington voters will decide whether to authorize the adoption of an additional quarter-cent City sales and use tax at a special election on May 2, 2020. The Arlington City Council voted to include the proposition on the ballot at their Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 and Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 meetings.

Click here for more information about the May 2, 2020, election in Arlington.

Sales and Use Tax Election FAQs

Texas state law allows up to 2% local sales and use tax, for a maximum total rate of 8.25% when combined with the state’s rate of 6.25%. The City of Arlington currently has 0.25% (quarter-cent) of local sales and use tax capacity available. Increases in the local sales and use tax rate must be approved by voters and can be adopted in one-eighth of one cent increments.

What is the current sales and use tax rate in Arlington?

The current total sales and use tax rate in the City of Arlington is 8%. If the proposed additional sales and use tax of .25% is approved by Arlington voters during the May 2, 2020 election, the rate would increase to 8.25%.

The current sales and use tax rate for Arlington breaks down as follows:
• 6.25% - State of Texas
• 1% - City of Arlington General Fund
• 0.25% - City of Arlington Street Maintenance, most recently reauthorized by voters in May 2018
• 0.50% - City of Arlington Sports and Community Venues, most recently reauthorized by voters in November 2016

If approved by Arlington voters, what would the revenue from the new quarter-cent sales and use tax be used for?

The proposed quarter-cent sales and use tax would be used to fund an Economic Development Corporation, to undertake such projects as authorized by Chapter 505 of the Texas Local Government Code.

The Arlington City Council formed the Arlington Economic Development Corporation in 2015. The Arlington Economic Development Corporation has remained dormant without dedicated funding. The proposed quarter-cent sales and use tax would provide dedicated funding for projects as authorized by Chapter 505 of the Texas Local Government Code. State law requires that all programs and expenditures of the Corporation be approved by the Arlington City Council.

Projects authorized by Chapter 505 of the Texas Local Government Code include, but are not limited to:

• Land, buildings, equipment, facilities, improvements, and expenditures that are for the creation and retention of primary jobs and suitable for the development, retention, or expansion of the following types of projects:
- manufacturing & industrial facilities
- research & development facilities
- military facilities
- transportation facilities, including airports, hangars, railports, airport maintenance and repair facilities, air cargo facilities, related infrastructure located on or adjacent to an airport or railport facility, mass commuting facilities, and parking facilities
- sewage and solid waste disposal facilities
- recycling facilities
- facilities for furnishing water to the public
- air or water pollution control facilities
- distribution facilities
- small warehouse facilities
- primary job training facilities for use by institutions of higher education
- regional or national corporate headquarters facilities

• Job training

• Infrastructure (streets and roads, rail spurs, water and sewer utilities, electric utilities, or gas utilities, drainage, site improvements, telecommunications and internet improvements) necessary to promote or develop new or expanded business enterprises

• Development, improvement, expansion, or maintenance of facilities relating to the operation of commuter rail, light rail, or motor buses

• Land, buildings, equipment, facilities, and improvements for professional and amateur sports, including children’s sports, athletic, entertainment, tourist, convention, and public park purposes and events, including stadiums, ball parks, auditoriums, amphitheaters, concert halls, parks and park facilities, open space improvements, museums, exhibition facilities, and related store, restaurant, concessions, and automobile parking facilities, related area transportation facilities, and related roads, streets, and water and sewer facilities, and improvements that enhance the above

• Land, buildings, equipment, facilities, and improvements required or suitable for the promotion and development of affordable housing

• Land, buildings, equipment, facilities, and improvements that promote or develop new or expanded business enterprises that create or retain primary jobs; including projects to provide public safety facilities, street and roads, drainage and related improvements, demolition of existing structures, general city owned improvements or facilities

How much revenue is a quarter-cent sales and use tax expected to generate in a year?

In 2019, the quarter-cent voter-approved Street Maintenance Sales Tax produced approximately $17.2 million.

How much more would people pay for taxable goods and services if the proposed sales tax is approved by voters?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average American consumer purchased approximately $500 in taxable goods and services per month in 2018. Currently, if a consumer purchases $500 in taxable goods in Arlington in a month, he or she will pay $40 in total sales taxes. If the sales tax rate is increased to 8.25%, the amount paid in taxes will increase to $41.25. That equates to $1.25 per month or $15 per year paid in additional sales taxes.

Where else can I find information about this type of sales tax?

Please click here to visit the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website for more information.

What is the ballot question?

At the May, 2, 2020, election, voters may vote “FOR” or “AGAINST” the proposition:

“The adoption of a sales and use tax at the rate of one-fourth of one percent to undertake such projects, as authorized by Chapter 505 of the Texas Local Government Code, as amended, that promote and develop new and expanded business enterprises, community redevelopment, provide and encourage employment, diversify the economy, and promote the public welfare; including, but not limited to, projects that incentivize private capital to rehabilitate urban blight and decay.”

What is the City of Arlington’s approved plan for economic development?

In 2014, the Arlington City Council approved the Economic Development Strategic Plan. Here’s a link to the approved plan and its situational report. Additionally, here’s a link to the City Council approved Comprehensive Plan, approved in 2015, that includes grow our businesses and develop our land as goals of the City.

What is the sales tax rate for the cities in North Texas with populations exceeding 5,000?

All cities with populations exceeding 5,000 in Denton, Collin, Tarrant and Dallas counties have an 8.25% sales tax rate.

How many Economic Development Corporations exist in the state of Texas and North Texas?

According to the 2016-2017 Texas State Comptroller’s Biennial Economic Development Corporation Report, in 2017 there are 730 economic development corporations in Texas and 113 economic development corporations in North Texas.

What cities that share a border with Arlington have an existing sales and use tax for projects authorized by 505 of the Local Government Code?

Grand Prairie, Kennedale, Dalworthington Gardens, Pantego and Mansfield have Economic Development Corporations. Below is a map of the communities in North Texas who have filed a report with the Texas Comptroller on the activities of an Economic Development Corporation in their community. This information was compiled from the 2016-2017 Texas State Comptroller’s Biennial Economic Development Corporation Report.

Grand Prairie, Kennedale, Dalworthington Gardens, Pantego and Mansfield have Economic Development Corporations. Below is a map of the communities in North Texas that have an Economic Development Corporation. This information was compiled from the 2016-2017 Texas State Comptroller’s Biennial Economic Development Corporation Report.

How are the members of the Arlington Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors appointed?

The Arlington City Council appoints the members of the Arlington Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. The Board is comprised of seven members whose terms are set at two years, per state law.

Where can I learn more about the proposed local sales and use tax election?

Please click here to see more information abou the proposed local sales and use tax.

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